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Stuck in a Rut?
I got an email last night from someone who reminded me of myself. Maybe, you can relate to this too? By the way, I hope the writer of that email doesn't mind my sharing this but the story sounds all too familiar and this is how it goes...
Too much time, too much money, spent on this dream of online success with not much to show for it.
I've mentioned before that my personal problem is staying focused. You know, keeping to task? Spreading myself too thin? For every step forward, it often seems a step or two back progression.
When I was writing the APS book, I knew first of all that I had to get started, and that's the advice I gave last night and that I give you now. Get started with the easy things first because it's the sense of accomplishment that will give you momentum. Once you have a few things taken care of, you'll feel better about moving forward.
Another problem that can cause us to get stuck is researching a thing to death, AKA: Information Overload, AKA: Analysis Paralysis. This goes hand-in-hand with staying focused because even though it may seem like we are centered in on the task at hand, we're actually getting sucked down a rabbit hole and bogged down by superfluous information. When is enough ever enough? How much do we really need to know before taking the first step toward our goal?
I think we do this for a couple reasons. One may be that we want to perfect our work. Guess what? It will never be perfect, so get over it. You're operating from within a fantasy if you think your final cut will be perfect. Realize that there is a difference between excellence and perfection.
We get stifled by the idea that because we haven't perfected the work it must not be finished, which leads us to the next myth that will hold you back if you let it: thinking you'll finish the project to your satisfaction. Guess what? It will never be done, because if it is, so are you.
Your work online is a constant work-in-progress. And it should be! If you think that once you've set it, you can forget it, then your work will stagnate, and so will your progress. You have to keep it fresh, which can be a real hassle, but that's where the money is made. Money is made when you can keep 'em coming back for more and not more of the same dull stuff.
Another thing that blocks not only our ability to succeed online but also in practically every other area of our lives is fear. This comes out in different ways in different people: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid, fear of being held accountable, etc. Whatever the fear may be that holds a person back, all fear has the same thing in common: it's almost always unfounded and it doesn't have to stop you. In fact, you don't even have to end your fears in order to overcome them.
Say what? You heard me right. You can continue to surpass your fear while still being afraid. It doesn't sound like much sense, but I know it works because I've been faced with things that frightened me a great deal but I went through them anyway while I still feared. The result? I fearfully completed the thing that scared me and learned that the initial fear was pointless.
What if you make a mistake? Good for you! Celebrate, because making mistakes is the only way you're really going to learn a lesson that sticks with you. Books and interviews can give you insight to the steps, including the mistakes, that someone else has taken toward to success, but nothing replaces experience. I hope you don't make too many mistakes, but you probably will make at least one during your dealings and when you do, don't worry, learn from it.
Now, finally, let's review how we might break these self-destructive cycles:
It wasn't until I overcame some of these obstacles in myself that I finally began to make money online. Unfortunately, this isn't a one-time fix. You may find that you have to overcome obstacles for every project you take on but it will get easier with practice and you will make money.
- Get Started! Do the easy stuff first. Once you get moving, it will be harder to stop you.
- Stay Motivated! Break up tasks into smaller jobs and give yourself reasonable deadlines.
- Stay Focused! Don't get sidetracked by the newest ebook, your email inbox or surfing the web.
- Do Your Best! Be realistic about what you can do and reward yourself for a job well done even if it never meets with your full satisfaction.
- Roll It Out! If you can't offer everything from the onset, plan on adding to it later.
- Do It Afraid If You Must! The only thing to fear is fear itself.
- Appreciate and Learn From Mistakes! We all make them, so let's make the most of them.
Have I arrived? No, I'm always striving higher.
Am I on my way? Yes and enjoying the journey.
How 'bout you?
Are you on your way?
Until next time,